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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 9, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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good to go. >> for landing. >> we'll see you at 6:00. lester holt is up next. >> we'll be back at 6:00. hope to see you then. breaking news tonight. the deadly disaster still unfolding as we come on the air. a massive eruption on a popular new zealand tourist attraction. at least five people killed, americans among the injured and potentially among the missing. no signs of life on the island too dangerous for search and rescue the closing arguments in the impeachment showdown booth sides making final cases the fireworks in the room as house democrats draw closer to a vote. the highly anticipated watchdog report revealed what it found. the fbi investigation into russia was justified and not politically motivated but the fbi faulted for errors
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the reaction from president trump as both sides seize new ammunition. police call it rehearsal for a mass shooting. a manned armed with an arsenal points guns at pedestrians outside. the tip that led to his arrest. our nbc news exclusive, the boeing whistle-blower going public tonight >> bottom line is you're worried about people dying in boeing planes. >> absolutely. >> what he says he warned the company about months before two deadly 737 max crashes. fighting porch pirates, we go along with police as we set traps to catch thieves in the act and how you can protect your holiday packages this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening there are grim fears tonight over the fates of tourists including americans after the volcanic island they were visiting in new zealand exploded and a deadly shower of ash and steam. as a new day breaks on that side of the world, recognizance planes are searching for signs
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of life. janis mackey frayer is in new zealand. >> reporter: two explosions, a huge tower of ash and steam shooting up 12,000 feet. >> no, no, no. >> reporter: the eruption captured by anxious tourists as their boat pulled away from the island. >> we looked back and saw this plume of smoke coming up from the volcano. >> reporter: michael shade and his family had just finished their tour. >> it was hard to stop crying long enough to take the photo and take the photo and start thinking about it and start crying again. >> reporter: rescuers are struggling to reach the island, now smothered in two feet of steering ash recognizance flights confirm there are no signs of life at least five people are dead, eight are missing. at least two americans are among the injured. matthew ryan and his wife lauren. >> there were two groups on the island those who were able to be evacuated and those who were close to the eruption. >> reporter: just one minute before the eruption, a camera captured this stunning image appearing to show a group of
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people just tiny specs near the rim of the crater. sky diving instructor tristan web was in the air when the island exploded. >> within about five seconds in the aircraft, you could see the plume of smoke was just beginning to almost envelope the island. it was very rapid. >> reporter: white island is privately owned about 30 miles off the northeast coast here it is also new zealand's most active volcano and the alert level was raised video taken friday shows it was already spewing gas. the agency that manages the alert system warned days ago the volcano was restless the island is so unstable rescue teams can't get near it and there is a risk of another eruption. >> incredible to watch thank you. in washington the bitter divide over impeachment was on full display as we near an expected house vote before the end of the year. hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: closing arguments
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as democrats close in on a vote to impeach the president looking to put the public on their side. >> the evidence shows donald j. trump, the president of the united states has put himself before his country. >> democratic staff recapping their weeks of public hearings arguing the president abused his power, betrayed the national interest and tried to corrupt the 2020 election by freezing military aid to ukraine while asking for an investigation into his political rivals. >> we talk about the abcs of presidential abuses. it is extraordinary the president's conduct was a trifecta. they canning all three boxes >> president trump's effort to convince a foreign country to cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger >> reporter: republicans furious and showing it. >> bang it harder.
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it still doesn't make the point. >> reporter: the president's allies are angry with the process they call rushed and unfair reiterating in their view he did nothing wrong. >> to impeach a president who 63 million people voted for over eight lines in a call transcript is bologna. >> reporter: the gop pointing out the military aid money to ukraine was released without a commitment to investigate the bidens like the president wanted after the aid freeze became a public controversy. >> the inquiry returned no direct evidence that president trump withheld a meeting or security assistance in order to pressure president zelensky. >> nobody understands what the majority is trying to do except interfere and basically make sure that they believe the president can't win next year if he's impeached. >> reporter: president trump today. >> it's a disgrace to our country. it's a hoax. and it should never ever be allowed to happen again.
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>> reporter: the house could vote on impeachment in the next two weeks and against that backdrop, nbc news learned the president is set to sit down with a key russian official tomorrow foreign minister sergei lavrov. the russia investigation came roaring back today with lingering question whether the fbi was politically motivated to launch the investigation into the 2016 trump campaign. tonight an answer the justice department's inspector general saying while the fbi made mistakes, it had good reason to open that investigation. here is pete williams. >> reporter: in a highly anticipated report, two years in the making, the inspector general found when the fbi secretly opened an investigation into possible russian influence of the trump campaign in july 2016, it fallowed the rules about launching that kind of case the report said it found no evidence of political bias and said the fbi had a legitimate purpose in looking at whether there was a threat to national security but harshly critical
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for permission to conduct surveillance on carter paige, a former trump campaign advisor saying there was serious management failures. the fbi relied on an unverified dossier assembled by christopher steele, a british spy hired to conduct research on trump and russia the report says the fbi's court application made statements about steele that were inaccurate and incomplete and unsupported over glossing over the fact many claims he made were not checking out. the inspector general made no conclusions behind the repeated failures but said it got no satisfactory explanation how the mistakes happened. james comey in charge of the fbi said the report is largely a vindication. >> there was no treason, no putting inform pants in the campaign it was nonsense. >> reporter: the president said it backs the claim the fbi was out to get him.
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government, attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it and they got caught red-handed. >> reporter: william barr said the report makes clear that the fbi launched an intrusive investigation of a u.s. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions, which did not justify the steps the fbi took months ago, barr appointed a u.s. attorney in connecticut to conduct a separate review and in a highly unusual statement he says he does not agree with the inspector general how the fbi's investigation was opened in the first place. the inspector general says he's ordering a new investigation how the fbi applies for these secret surveillance warrants and the fbi director ordered changes how the process works. lester >> pete williams, thank you. the world anti-doping agency banned russia from several international sporting events including next summer's tokyo olympics the agency accused russia of
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fraud and manipulation for falsifying records but russians that can prove they are clean can compete as neutral athletes. three days after a mass shooting at a naval base in pensacola, the fooe fbi is treating it as an act of terrorism as we learn more about the gunman's past. gabe gutierrez is there. >> reporter: tonight, investigators are delving deeper into the past of 21-year-old saudi national mohammed. >> do you have any idea when this gunman might have been racked >> no, that's part of the complexity. >> reporter: "the new york times" reports the gunman filed a formal complaint this year against one of his instructors that left him infuriated in class with tagging him with a derogatory name about his mustache nbc news has not reviewee the shooter walked into this building friday with a handgun he bought legally with a hunting license before dying in a shootout with deputies david morgan says there should be tougher scrutiny of foreign
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nationals that come to the u.s. for training do you believe he should not have been allowed the buy a firearm? >> yes, i believe that. >> reporter: eight people were wounded including ryan blackwell who was shot in his right arm and pelvis. >> took some rounds, saved some people in the process and kind of still trying to piece everything together. >> reporter: three sailors were killed 19-year-old mohammed hathym just graduated boot camp. his family is distraught. >> he put his life on the line trying to not only save himself but save others. >> reporter: joshua caleb watson had just moved to pensacola last month and helped his family decorate for christmas. >> he actually put the angel on our tree. >> reporter: just hours after the shooting, the city of pensacola was hit with a cyber attack but the sheriff has been told there is no reason to believe the two are connected, lester >>e, tha you. in southern california a suspect just pleaded not guilty to weapons and other charges
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after a chilling video surfaced of a rehearsal for a mass shooting it took place last march in a san diego hotel room stockpiled with weapons and ammo. a judge ordered him held on $1 million bail he was arrested on a tip from someone who knew him now our nbc news exclusive with the boeing 737 max still grounded after two deadly crashes, a whistle-blower is going public to nbc cynthia mcfadden saying he warned the company with production problems before the planes went down. >> reporter: what did it feel like the last day at boeing, the day you retired? >> felt like i was banning the titanic. >> reporter: after 30 years in the military, much it of spent in an airport, ed pearson has a strong sense of duty why did you decide to come talk to us is week in front of congrs >> well, actually, it wasn't my plan i feel like i didn't really have a choice.
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>> reporter: bottom line is you're worried about people dying in boeing planes >> absolutely. >> reporter: in 2008 pearson went to work for boeing at their massive plant in washington where all the company's 737s are built. the 737 was a magnificent airplane great safety record. were you excited to work for the company and be part of the 737 production >> how could you not want to work for boeing? it an amazing company. >> reporter: but in late 2017 as the 737 max production ramped up, ed pearson started to see things alarmed him >> it was just out of control, and it was ridiculous. >> reporter: the race to build the new planes and compete with europe's airbus pushed the production schedule into over drive. instead of 47 planes a month, 52 were being built so how much over time was going on at this point did it double? >> more than double. you work seven days straight, you're beat, you know and you're tired.
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>> reporter: he says during this period, many people worked weekend after weekend as there weren'ou electricians and some ended up doing jobs they had never been trained for. a perfect storm for production problems he says he sent this email to the head of the 737 team in june 2018 expressing his concern workers were inadvertently embedding safety hazards into our airplanes. i know how dangerous a small detect can be to an airplane he urged the boeing manager to shut down the factory for a few weeks to straighten things out what was his reaction? >> we can't shut down and i got mad and said i've seen military operations shut down for a lot less. >> reporter: what was his reply to that? >> something i'll never forget he said well, military is not a profit-making organization. unnecessary. taking an unnecessary risk >> dangerous
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>> reporter: four months later a lion air 737 max crash killing all 189 people on board. and the irony that when you wrote that first letter, that lion airplane was on the factory floor. >> it was within the production system at the time when i saw that, that was -- i really can't say i mean, i can't know how to describe i cried a lot. >> reporter: did you >> yeah. i'm mad at myself because i felt like maybe i could have done more. >> reporter: over the next genveal counsel but felt nothing was being done 19 days afrd, second 737 max crashed afterwards the 737 max was grounded boeing has acknowledged mistakes including that their anti stall system contributed to both
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crashes. pearson says he doesn't know if what he witnessed contributed to the crashes but it's the uncertainty that disturbs him. >> somewhere in the end of my letter to the board, i said no one wants to wake up one morning and hear of another accident, and that's exactly what happened. >> reporter: what do you say to americans who are planning to fly on a 737 even in the next few weeks? >> my family is in the same boat i would demand that the faa and their role as regulators go in thoroughly investigate that factory. >> cynthia, what is boeing >>ying about this. there are more than 6800 other 737s flying. boeing is pushing back strongly saying the 737 is one of the safest planes flying and say quote, the suggestion by mr. pearson of a link between his concerns and the recent max accidents is completely unfounded. and they say so far no
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investigators have found quote production conditions in the factory contributed to the accidents. lester >> all right cynthia, thank you. just ahead, fighting porch pilots we're with the police that set traps for those stealing packages what you can do to keep your packages safe. >> remembering a hero that helped raise hundreds of millions for a noble cause
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with package theft, one police department is fighting back jo ling kent went along as they set their traps. >> reporter: across the country, it's the season of giving and taking the thieves caught on camera pilfering packages, this one tripping over a 65-inch tv as he tried to get away. >> i just don't want people's stuff stolen over the holidays. >> reporter: the theft has the sheriff's department in washington county oregon going on offense. >> where is this item? >> reporter: detective patrick and his team are planting bait packages on front steps to catch culprits and deter criminals.
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>> we're trying to keep everyone's holiday season happy. >> reporter: here is how it works. they put an item into a cardboard box along with a sensor leave it on a volunteer's porch and wait for an alert. once the package is picked up, police use a combination of gps, cell phone signal and radio frequency to track it down how effective is the program so far? >> we noticed about a 10 to 20% decrease in the thefts. >> reporter: the sheriff's department recommends sending orders to secure locations for example, have it delivered on a day you're home send it to the neighbor. use in store pickup or an amazon locker or get it delivered to work. >> anything but letting it just sit on your porch for hours. that's the best advice i can give. >> reporter: if all else fails, maybe just go shopping in person jo ling kent, nbc news, hillsborough, oregon. up next here tonight, remembering the man that raised millions by promoting the ice
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bucket challenge on the economy, a unique leader.
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mike bloomberg's created over 400,000 jobs. as president, an opportunity economy that works for us. tax fairness -- where the wealthy pay their fair share. education .. affordable college and high skill vocational training so people can succeed in the new economy. economic security .. lower cost health care and afrd proven leadership on jobs .. to build an economy where people don't just get by, they get ahead. i'm mike bloomberg and i approve this message. there's sad news tonight about a hero who inspired so many of us
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pete who helped make the ice bucket challenge a worldwide sensation died after battling als. he was just 34 nbc's kate snow on his legacy. >> reporter: he was an athlete then at 27, devastating news. >> i was recently diagnosed with als. >> reporter: his parents say he never complained and wanted to raise awareness while having fun so the ice bucket challenge. this thing catches fire. >> yeah. the local tv to the national tv and then it goes to the entertainment world and went international. >> reporter: pete stream was to reach bill gates. >> he did it and he's a kid that is very determined and very goal-oriented. >> reporter: $220 million raised for als and trials underway for more than 100 potential therapies. none of it soon enough for pete. with his daughter lucy and wife julie, two years ago he could only use his eyes to communicate. >> the thing i tell people is to
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google three little letters, als, learn how much it can devastate the mind, body and soul. >> reporter: he was a noble fighter his family said today who inspired us all. kate snow, nbc news. we'll take a break up next, the incredible bond as a young girl meets the dow donor that saved life
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finally tonight, inspiring america. the young hockey fan we introduced you to earlier this year meeting the man who saved her life here is kevin tibbles. >> reporter: when a championship year for hockey super fan lay anderson battling an auto immune disease, she was the inspiration
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as the team won the first stanley cup, layla was there every step of the way and they presented her with her own stanley cup ring, all this after receiving a life-saving bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor. >> i was overjoyed he is 19 and goes to k.u. >> reporter: no more layla met his family for the first time at the annual be the match. >> thank you for the second chance at life [crying] >> you mean the world to me and i love you and i'm so happy that you're okay. >> reporter: fast friends with some catching up to do. >> i don't care if we go to nnes st want to spend time with you. >> reporter: first stop, a blue's game, of course, and a standing ovation, a life saved the biggest win of all kevin tibbles, nbc news. >> what a beautiful moment for both of them that's "nightly news."
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i'm lester holt. thank you for watching, everyone right now what fremont plans to do about the real estate signs around the town. >> plus more than just flood waters, the toxic mess people are cleaning up after raw sewage bubbled up during the weekend rain. >> i think we need to do something so this doesn't happen again. >> a family devastated when their dog is mauled to death by another dog with a violent past. what changes them to make. the news at 6:00 starts now. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. that attack on the little dog unbelievable. now he's learning that the pit bull that killed his beloved pet
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had attacked before but was no longer classified a dangerous dog. >> laura joins us now with this exclusive story. laura. >> reporter: yeah, raj, it all happened right here at this interception. a young boy tells me he was taking his dog for a walk when a pit bull appeared out of nowhere. ka he was like a little guy and we loved him so much.


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